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NewSplash Archive – October 2020

Issue 43 – 10/27

Rita the Reprocessor scholarship runners-up
We are pleased to introduce our two runners-up for the Rita the Reprocessor scholarship, Carla Cuer of United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, NY, and Nicole Booth of Barrett Hospital and Healthcare in Dillon, MT. Carla and Nicole each received a scholarship to IAHCSMM 2021, a one-year subscription to PROCESS magazine, and their IAHCSMM memberships were renewed for one year.

The Horrors of Biofilm by Rebecca Kinney
This is a spooky little reminder that biofilm may be haunting your operating rooms, and you might not even know it. Think of it as a cauldron that contains a slimy matrix of extra cellular polymeric substances and prokaryotic organisms that, when mixed, combine to form a colony that multiplies and grows, becoming irreversible. We’re not sure about you, but that isn’t a potion we want mixed into our operating rooms now, is it?

FDA approves first treatment for COVID-19
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds) for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. Veklury should only be administered in a hospital or in a healthcare setting capable of providing acute care comparable to inpatient hospital care.

Winner of 3M Young Scientist Challenge makes discovery that could aid treatment of COVID19
3M and Discovery Education have named 14-year-old Anika Chebrolu from Frisco, Texas, the winner of the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the nation’s premier middle school science competition. Anika used in-silico methodology for drug discovery to find a molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to find a cure for COVID-19.

Independent study finds AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine follows genetic instructions
AstraZeneca’s Oxford COVID-19 vaccine accurately follows the genetic instructions programmed into it by the developers to successfully provoke a strong immune response, according to a detailed analysis carried out by independent U.K. scientists.

COVID-19 antibodies fall significantly after infection
A research team from The Imperial College London found that the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies fell by 26% from June to September, suggesting that immunity appears to fade and there’s a risk of reinfection. Antibodies are a crucial part of our immune defenses that keep the virus from getting inside cells.

Cancer researchers discover new salivary gland
Researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute have discovered a new location of the salivary glands. This is potentially great news for patients with head and neck tumors: radiation oncologists will now be able to circumvent this area to avoid potential complications.

Replay of 2020 OR Manager Conference On Demand
Be sure to watch the replay of OR Manager On Demand to learn about compelling case studies and best practices advice from peers, and to review ask me anything sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, supply and manufacturing vendor exhibits, and more. The on-demand replay is available through November 30.

New Beyond Clean episode now available
This week’s guest on Beyond Clean is Johanne Benoit, sterile processing manager and dental reprocessing subject matter expert at Fenway Health. Johanne details the complexities surrounding the dental reprocessing workflow and provide an overview of the industry.

 

Issue 42 – 10/20

Rita the Reprocessor scholarship grand prizewinner
This issue we would like to introduce our Rita the Reprocessor grand prizewinner, Toni Amorine of Geisinger Community Medical Center. Toni received a scholarship to attend IAHCSMM 2021, a one-year subscription to PROCESS magazine, and her IAHCSMM membership was renewed for one year. In addition, Toni received $500 in expense assistance.

A How-To Guide for Quality Processes by Mary Olivera
Like the infamous line about a totally different topic, most of us know quality when we see it. But in a medical or hospital setting, the word takes on an elevated meaning and can spell the difference between life and death. Quality in medicine is the degree to which healthcare services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge. At baseline, the desired health outcome is that our patients get better, or at the very least, suffer less from pain. And while a commitment to quality cannot guarantee that all patients will be cured of what ails them, it can give them their best shot while protecting a facility from issues (read: lawsuits or other complications) stemming from poor adherence to quality.

U.K. preparing to infect healthy volunteers in human challenge study
In an effort to speed up COVID-19 vaccine development, researchers in Britain are preparing to conduct a human challenge study by infecting dozens of healthy volunteers with the virus. The study is still awaiting final approval, but if approved it will begin in January.

Moffitt researchers discover specific molecules that promote cancer progression
The development of cancer is a highly complicated process, involving multiple genes and signaling pathways that become upregulated or downregulated throughout different stages of tumor growth and spread. Two of the most commonly altered genes in cancer are p53 and AKT.

FDA reissues emergency use authorization for certain non-NIOSH-approved filtering face-piece respirators manufactured in China
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reissued the emergency use authorization (EUA) for certain filtering face-piece respirators (FFRs) that are manufactured in China and are not approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 

All-terrain microrobot flips through a live colon
A rectangular robot as tiny as a few human hairs can travel throughout a colon by doing back flips, Purdue University engineers have demonstrated in live animal models.

Application deadline for 2020 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety & Quality Awards extended to Nov. 20
The Joint Commission announced that nomination period for the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety & Quality Awards, presented by The Joint Commission and National Quality Forum has been extended to November 20. The annual awards recognize major achievements by individuals and organizations to improve patient safety and healthcare quality.

Register now for Virtual OR Excellence 2020
Registration is open for Virtual OR Excellence 2020. The virtual conference offers live programming and on-demand access for OR leaders in both hospital and ambulatory surgery settings.

Replay of 2020 OR Manager Conference On Demand
Be sure to watch the replay of OR Manager On Demand to learn about compelling case studies and best practices advice from peers, and to review ask me anything sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, supply and manufacturing vendor exhibits, and more. The on-demand replay is available through November 30.

New Beyond Clean episode now available
This week the hosts of Beyond Clean talk to Jason Unger, director of surgical services and anesthesia institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, about the medical device reprocessing industry in the United Arab Emirates. They discuss everything from training standards and leadership insights to innovated responses in the midst of crisis. Be sure to tune in.

 

Issue 41 – 10/13

Rita the Reprocessor scholarship recipients
NewSplash and Ultra Clean Systems would like to thank everyone for your thoughtful entries in our Rita the Reprocessor scholarship challenge. This marks our fourth annual IAHCSMM scholarship challenge and we could not be happier with the overwhelming response by all of you dedicated sterile processing professionals.

Reprocessing Reusable Medical Devices: Standards, Recommendations, and Guidelines, part 3 by Chuck Hughes
In the first two articles, we discussed how reusable medical devices continue to become more and more complex, and thus so does compliance with reprocessing best practices. Complex reusable medical devices often have detailed multistep instructions for use (IFUs) that require special resources healthcare facilities may not have anticipated when they purchase, borrow, or trial new devices. We explained how national survey organizations and many Department of Health (DOH) agencies now audit healthcare facilities for compliance with best practices as stated in our national standards, recommendations, and guidelines which we listed. And we reviewed how adherence to reprocessing best practices ensures patient safety as one of our greatest threats is healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

Artificial blood vessels to replace diseased vessels
Researchers in China and Switzerland have developed electrically conductive artificial blood vessels that can be implanted to replace diseased blood vessels. The flexible and biodegradable artificial vessels have a metal-polymer membrane that allows an electrical current to be passed through the vessel when it’s implanted in the body. The electrical stimulation may improve integration of the implant.

The Joint Commission releases quick safety on use of telehealth amid COVID-19 pandemic
The use of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic has skyrocketed, enabling the timely delivery and continuity of safe patient care while preventing exposure to the coronavirus. This continuity of care is especially important for patients with chronic disease, the elderly, and behavioral healthcare patients who require routine check-ins with their providers.  

APIC announces new CEO
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) announced that Devin Jopp, EdD, MS, has been named CEO effective December 7, 2020.

Application deadline for 2020 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety & Quality Awards extended to Nov. 20
The Joint Commission announced that nomination period for the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety & Quality Awards, presented by The Joint Commission and National Quality Forum has been extended to November 20. The annual awards recognize major achievements by individuals and organizations to improve patient safety and healthcare quality.

Preregistration open for Virtual OR Excellence 2020
Preregister now for Virtual OR Excellence 2020 and get notified when registration opens. The virtual conference offers live programming and on-demand access for OR leaders in both hospital and ambulatory surgery settings.

Replay of 2020 OR Manager Conference On Demand
OR Manager On Demand is an online conference that offers compelling case studies, best practices advice from peers, ask me anything sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, supply and manufacturing vendor exhibits, networking, and more in a virtual environment that attendees can access when and where they choose. The on-demand replay is available through November 30.

New Beyond Clean episode now available
This week, the folks at Beyond Clean sat down with Dr. Rachel Mandel, senior healthcare advisor for Operational Performance Solutions, to discuss the context for lean concepts, process improvement among sterile processing teams, and we lay out a roadmap for working together to improve patient care. Be sure to tune in.

 

Issue 40 – 10/6

Last chance to enter the Rita the Reprocessor scholarship challenge!
Our world is under attack and now is the time for sterile processing professionals to unite and end infection. Infection cannot be destroyed by a single person; it takes a team working harmoniously with a solitary vision. How did you adapt to disruptions in your SPD caused by COVID-19?

The Eyes Have It: 3 Reasons to Say “Yes!”​ to Inspection Microscopes in Your Sterile Processing Department by Hank Balch
It has never been easier to thoroughly inspect surgical instruments during the reprocessing cycle than it is in today’s sterile processing industry. More and more vendors are coming out with new inspection devices that span the spectrum from low-tech, handheld magnifiers up to thousands of dollars’ worth of computerized visual-enhancement software than can autofocus, record, and document what technicians are seeing on the screen or inside lumens.

Gravity Jet Suit paramedic reaches injured hiker in seconds
England’s Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) has collaborated with Gravity Industries to develop and patent a 1,050 hp Gravity Jet Suit that enables paramedics to access injured or sick patients in remote or hard-to-reach areas. The suit is worn like a backpack, features five turbines, can run on jet A1 or diesel fuel, weight just under 60 lbs dry, has a flight time of 5–10 minutes, and can reach speeds up to 85 mph.

Ethylene oxide sterilizer rule pushed back by the EPA
Scrutiny of the public health Catch-22 with ethylene oxide sterilization (EtO) emerged as one of the top threats to the medtech industry in the second half of 2019. Although the gas is regulated by EPA, FDA held an advisory panel hearing on the topic in November, where one committee member said the shutdown of device sterilization plants put the U.S. “on the cusp of a major medical logistical failure.”

Free publication offered by AAMI
AAMI has published a collection of articles showcasing best practices and alternative strategies for medical device and packaging sterilization, resulting in the free 88-page Industrial Sterilization Process Optimization and Modality Changes publication. Offered through AAMI’s Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology, the publication features 11 articles from experts representing a variety of organizations in the medical industry.

Preregistration open for Virtual OR Excellence 2020
Preregister now for Virtual OR Excellence 2020 and get notified when registration opens. The virtual conference offers live programming and on-demand access for OR leaders in both hospital and ambulatory surgery settings.

Register now for the 2020 OR Manager Conference On Demand
OR Manager On Demand is an online conference that offers compelling case studies, best practices advice from peers, ask me anything sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, supply and manufacturing vendor exhibits, networking, and more in a virtual environment that attendees can access when and where they choose. The on-demand replay is available through November 30.

Beyond Clean launches Season 10
Why would a neurosurgeon decide to pursue certification in the sterile processing industry? What happened in this surgeon’s career to turn his eyes and his heart toward the teams managing surgical instrumentation in his facility and across the industry? Our first guest of Season 10 is Dr. George Cybulski, chief medical officer of Vested Medical, Inc., who joins us for a discussion around surgeon engagement, surgical efficiency, and a vision for sterile processing collaboration that can change the SPD world.